En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Oak Bark Loss in Arlington, TX

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 04, 2013

From: Arlington, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Oak Bark Loss in Arlington, TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have multiple oak trees in my yard (in north texas) that have begun to lose their bark in small chunks. I'm in the middle of the city so their are no deer and yes it's been a dry 2 years but this just started in the last few months. It looks like some one shot the entire tree with a shot gun with chunks off everywhere. Are they sick and can do anything about it if so? I do water regularly sprinkler wise and these are huge oaks.

ANSWER:

That’s not a good sign.  I found a good article on this - Read "Loss of tree bark around state might be linked to drought" by Bruce Keitler.  You can also learn more from another Mr Smarty Plants question/answer pair:  How do you stop the bark from peeling off the tree in Amarillo, from this article on ehow, and this document from a neighborhood association in Williamson County on Oak Tree Diseases.

Mr Smarty Plants conclusion from reading this information is simply that there are a number of possible diseases and possible insect invasions that could cause these generic symptoms,  none of them good.  Mr Smarty Plants did do a question on How to treat bark damage on oak tree, which has recommendations quite similar to what Bruce Keitler recommended.  This mostly cleans up the damage and prepares the tree to heal on its own.
  I noticed your comment that you water regularly with sprinklers, thats also not necesarily good.  Remember that trees benefit best from a very deep watering, done at long intervals.  More detail is in this earlier Mr Smarty Plants answer:  "Watering practices for live oaks in drought from New Braunfels TX".
  If the issue with your trees continues to spread you may want to consult the Tarrant County Extension or a Tree Professional.

 

From the Image Gallery


Lacey oak
Quercus laceyi

Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

Chinkapin oak
Quercus muehlenbergii

Post oak
Quercus stellata

Nuttall oak
Quercus texana

Mexican white oak
Quercus polymorpha

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Why are my Spanish Oaks dropping branches that appear to be alive?
June 24, 2009 - We have two large Spanish Oaks that we planted ourselves. They both have begun to loose large branches that aren't dead. These branches just break off and fall. There is usually a wind, but not to th...
view the full question and answer

Why is my weeping willow looking so bad?
June 15, 2009 - My weeping willow suddenly up and looked like it died Yellow leaves dried up and dropping off It is planted in what is called "Wet lands" Clay soil water wet Just looks like it is dying
view the full question and answer

Need some help with a Plumbago plant in Mission, TX.
August 06, 2010 - Hello..I live in south South Texas and have a plumbago. It gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct sun and lately some of the branches and leaves turn bright green almost yellow. Am I over watering or is ...
view the full question and answer

Leaf drop from live oaks in mid-summer
July 08, 2013 - We have a live oak that is starting to drop a considerable amount of leaves here in early July in Cypress Texas. Its a mature tree with a base diameter of 12-14" and 25-30' tall. We live in a subd...
view the full question and answer

Why are my lemon Cyprees trees turning Black?
April 01, 2010 - I have 3 lemon Cypress plants - all are about 6 feet tall. One of them has started turning black on one side - like it's been burnt. The inside of the plant is also turning black. I assume something ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center